What kind of reader am I?

This post over at THE LITBLOG CO-OP got me thinking about what kind of reader I am.

I'd like to think that everything in The Collection is a "good" book, but if I were to be completely honest I'd admit that there are some that are duds. I can recommend most of The Collection to others with reasonable confidence. Some of the books that I think are duds are those that others highly recommended and that left me either cold or feeling that there were a few hours in my life I'd never get back.

What makes a book "good"? If my real surroundings vanish and I'm in the book (fiction) and I'm so engrossed in what I'm reading that any interruption is a problem, even falling asleep as I'm reading (non-fiction and fiction). "Bad" books are the easily interruptable, could-care-less about the plot and characters books.

Which brings me to my real problem. I'm a clean-your-plate reader. You know, the kind that has to finish a book, no matter how horrible it is. It's hard to wean yourself off that, particularly when the book has been recommended/given to you by someone you know and trust. Even worse is if they expect you to love it and want to talk about it!

For those of you that are thinking I could weed The Collection when I move well, don't worry. I'm thinking about it.

So, what kind of reader are you?


gwenda said...

Great post.

I mostly agree with your good and bad books definition. My own is a little more careless, but definitely any book I can abandon without caring is in that category!

Sherri said...

I'm the kind who have multiple books going at the same time so there are any number of unfinished books lying around. It has nothing to do with them being interesting or not. Usually I stopped at some crisis point where I know something HORRIBLE is going to happen and I'm just not emotionally prepared to go on yet...

I took a good look at my own "collection" recently and realized that, given a "quality book" and a "trash book", I will tend to read the trash book first. It's a sad, sad state of affairs.

Aravis said...

I'm more like you LG. If I start a book I will almost always finish it. There is the occasional exception. "The Tale of Genji" was one. If I had been allowed to put down "Moby Dick," that would certainly have been another. There's only so much torture I'm willing to put myself through, but I do go to great lengths to get to the end of a book I've started.

Like you, I think one of the worst scenarios is when someone urges you to read something great that just, well, isn't. Or you don't love a certain character the way they want you to. This happened to me at TRP last year. I read a series of books at another member's urging and really liked them. But because I didn't fall in love with the same characters, or because I didn't like some characters she did, she rarely talks with me now.

Oh well.